Dunedin is known for its ancient architecture, so act like a Scot, head to the peninsula and discover the country’s only castle. Larnach Castle was built in 1871 by a love-struck merchant baron and politician, William Larnach, for his darling wife Eliza. The castle has a scandalous history of adultery and suicide and is said to be haunted, so watch your back.
Craft beers are big news in the alcohol industry. Dunedin is home to two craft beers, Speight’s Ale known as “the pride of the south” and Emerson’s microbrewery. It is possible to tour the Speight’s brewery, so join the ninety minute tour that tracks the timeline of Speight’s ale from 1876 to the mammoth copper vessels of today’s brew house, before finishing with a cleansing ale.
Animal lovers and eco warriors will adore Dunedin’s abundant wildlife. The Albatross, for example, is capable of flying with its three metre wings at speeds of 115 kilometres per hour and you have the chance to see these majestic creatures from the observatory at Dunedin’s Royal Albatross Colony, at Taiaroa Head.
The Yellow Eyed Penguins of the Otago Peninsula are only found in New Zealand and are the rarest ones in the world, with just 4,000-5,000 penguins currently in existence. You can get up close and personal with these delightful creatures along with the thriving New Zealand fur seals and sea lions on an eco-tour that combines all three.
When in Dunedin you could make a side trip to the Moeraki Boulders; these huge spherical boulders are littered over a sandy beach under an hour away from Dunedin. Stop at the famed Fleurs restaurant, in the fishing village on the bay at Moeraki, and dine with fresh and smoked seafood on the upper floor and enjoy the view.
This restaurant's chef is an extraordinary master of his craft and this reflects in the quality of the food served at Parcels. The restaurant boasts many satisfied affectionate customers that just can't get enough of his creations, so pay a visit and get ready to discover a whole new world of delicacies.
Here you will get both people-watching and excellent espresso in one stop. Nova Café is famous for its filling breakfasts, but it also has a wide range of cakes, gluten free desserts, lunch ideas and snacks. They serve high quality coffee as well as an array of traditional and herbal teas, so it's basically the right spot for everyone.
The Good Oil Cafe is a local hot spot and a truly great coffee shop. Service here is always prompt and friendly and they have a varied and high quality menu that could satisfy the pickiest guest. The breakfast, brunch and lunch are all equally good so don't hesitate and take a break from touring Dunedin here.
Nectar strives to bring the best quality coffee roasted in New Zealand. They make their own chutney, relish and jam and they only use free range eggs and meats. Passion for coffee is vital in order to produce the perfect cup of steaming hot coffee and the Nectar staff surely doesn't lack that.
This hidden gem is not located on the most touristic streets, because the owners, when choosing the location, wanted to make sure that Ironic Cafe & Bar would have had an intimate ambiance and enough outdoor space to let their guests enjoy one of their delectable meals or strong coffee outside, away from the crowds.
The Octagon is the main entertainment district of Dunedin with Dunedin North offering some pub and bar options that cater especially to younger patrons. This eight-sided square is the place to be, especially during the summer for an evening walk or for a bar to bar tour, sipping refreshing cocktails.
Tonic, located south of the Octagon, is the place to go for delicious beer, since they specialise in the production of high quality craft brewery beer, mainly local, regional and national. Having said that, you can also find fine wine and general European imports, as long as their quality matches the one of the home-crafted beer.
This bar is located in the heart of it all in Dunedin - the Octagon area, bustling with life at any hour of day or night. Stuart Street Mac's Brewbar serves refreshing drinks and tasty food in a quirky kiwi environment with wooden furniture where, at night, DJs and acoustic bands often play.
This is one of Dunedin's most popular sports and karaoke bars. The Baaa will fix you up with drinks, food and live sporting broadcasts. It's a great spot to meet some locals that are here to drink a beer and chat or lots of students, always ready to have fun and party.
The fringe town of Port Chalmers houses some excellent art galleries including 34th gallery, Anchorage Galley and Milnes Court Gallery. Wander Port Chalmers own George Street for Dunedin’s local artists or stay in Dunedin CBD and peruse Milford Galleries in the city’s Dowling Street.
This store, situated a block south of the Octagon in Upper Moray Place, mixes New Zealand labels such as Helen Cherry, Karen Walker, To Sir With Love with their own Dada Vintage Range. The interior design is just lovely, with wooden furniture and vintage looking mannequins that match the style of the items you'll find there.
Fresh local produce and delicatessen items are to be found in abundance at the local Farmers' Market, where much of the produce comes in the organic variety. While buying some healthy and tasty food, you'll surely get hungry, but don't worry about that because here you have the possibility to grab a bite, too.
Dunedin’s fashion district can be found mainly on George Street with Plume as the reigning queen among the huge variety of fashion shops and boutiques lining both sides of the street - a true shopper's paradise. Also, New Zealand is synonymous with sheepskin and Dunedin’s best sheepskin and leather goods are to be found at Hides, on George Street.
The Golden Centre Mall offers several shopping opportunities in different branches such as fashion, books, health and beauty, food and much more. It has a smaller selection of stores than the Meridian, but boasts a more varied, and higher quality products as well as an international food court.
Did you know that "Dunedin" is the old Gaelic name for "Edinburgh"? Pay tribute to the city's Scottish beginnings and visit the centrally located Scottish Shop that sells traditional kilts and attire, and much more. Even if don't end up wearing a kilt, the visit will be a cultural experience in itself.
If you are into jewellery, get ready to be enchanted, because Dunedin has a lot to offer. The contemporary designers Blair Smith and David McLeod, for example, can be found at SHED Workspace on Princes Street, or head to Fluxus Contemporary Jewelry on Stuart Street for a mix of the city’s best.
Dunedin International Airport is located 30 kilometres from the city centre, but since there is currently no public transport service available, you should book a shuttle instead. Shuttle services operate for varying costs and time will be determined by passenger drop offs, but expect anything from twenty to forty minutes. You can book a ticket in advance on the website. +64 9 522 5100 www.supershuttle.co.nz A taxi fare to town is usually around $90 and the ride will take approximately 20 minutes. Southern Taxis +64 03 476 6300 Dunedin Taxis +64 03 4777 777 Also, most major rental car companies are represented at Dunedin International Airport including Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Budget, so you'll have plenty of choices.
Downtown Dunedin has a compact city centre and it is possible to easily walk to the majority of the touristic attractions; the public transport service, in fact, caters especially to students or locals in general that often need to reach the most remote areas of the city. The public transport system is particularly efficient here with buses operated by different companies, such as: Go Bus www.gobus.co.nz/urban/dunedin Ritchies www.ritchies.co.nz/home/dunedin
The city has an efficient cab system with taxis working around the clock. Most places within Dunedin are no more than twenty minutes away by car, the Otago Peninsula can be reached within fifteen to twenty minutes and Port Chalmers within half an hour. Dunedin Taxis +64 03 477 7777 www.dunedintaxis.co.nz City United Taxis +64 03 4771 771 [email protected]
If you are looking for a well-equipped pharmacy in Dunedin, check out Albany Street Pharmacy: Albany St Pharmacy 27 Albany St, Dunedin +64 03 477 5115 www.albanyst.co.nz There is also the "Urgent Pharmacy", open every day of the year. 95 Hanover Street, Dunedin +64 03 477 6344 www.urgentpharmacy.co.nz